In that day [the Gospel
dispensation] shall this song be sung in the land of
Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint
for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the
righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee:
In the midst
of the chaotic conditions which are about us, verse 3 of
our Scripture text points to the infallible remedy for
the unrest of all forms of human ills. In these
disquieting days, we need to look at God's plan for man.
Man's plans have failed down through the ages, but God
has a plan, which will not fail.
in this chapter by describing the impregnable city,
which is nothing more than real salvation, or the
church, collectively or individually. When you find this
city (the new Jerusalem, the Church), you will find a
strong city. The people who live in it, will not be
talking about weakness; they will be talking about
strength, the strength of God. Armageddon is a spiritual
battle, and the devil is getting blows in on God's
people of which they are unaware. Whenever he can get
you to the place that all you feel is weakness and
defeat, you have lost sight of the strength of Almighty
"In that day shall this song be sung in the land of
Judah; We have a strong city [Why is she strong?];
salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." If
you find real salvation, there are some things, which
cannot get into your experience. The walls of salvation
are impregnable; they are devil-proof. Throughout the
New Testament, we are instructed to not give place to
the devil. When the devil comes up against this wall, he
can go no farther. He believes and trembles as he
watches the walls of salvation.
The devil is
working as never before to bring the true church down
from her exalted position. Christian friend, you and I
are the church, and the devil is knocking on our doors
individually. He is trying to dim our vision of the
church so that we will claim to be the Church, while
living a weak Christian life, as do the people outside
the wall of this city.
If there had
been anything stronger than salvation to put around us
for walls and bulwarks, God would have used it. No
defilement can get inside these walls; the church is a
holy city. In Isaiah 62:12 Isaiah said, "And they shall
call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord:
and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not
We are in a
day when people like to talk in terms of plurality.
Whenever anything goes wrong, they say, "It looks like
we are in trouble." In verse 3 of our Scripture text,
Isaiah just came from the city, down to the individual.
He is not talking about keeping the church in perfect
peace, but about keeping every member, "Thou wilt keep
him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee."
only is a blessing, but it is also the mother of other
blessings. Peace is earnestly sought after by many men.
How many millions of dollars and how many hundreds of
thousands of lives have been spent through wars, trying
to have peace? It all adds up to the fact that man
Scripture text does not merely speak of peace, but of
perfect peace. To many people, it is a beautiful dream,
which is pushed ahead to some future age. However, our
Scripture text tells us that God bestows perfect peace
on everyone whose mind is stayed on Him; this means
right here and now.
Peace Is Undisturbable and Adaptable
When I refer
to perfect peace, I am referring to it in a biblical
manner. First of all, we need to realize and understand
that the very source of this peace determines its
quality. The laws of the human mind are of such that our
happiness will partake of the character of the object
from which it is derived. If the object of our happiness
or peace is from the uncertain and dissatisfying world,
our peace will be uncertain and dissatisfying. On the
other hand, if it is derived from the eternal and the
immutable God, it will be undisturbable. The word
perfect in the Hebrew means "undisturbable."
is at a heated stage, and a great part of the battle is
being fought every hour you are awake, right in your
mind. Why? As a Christian, you are endeavoring to keep
your mind on God, while the enemy is working in
different ways to move your mind from the power and
ability of God and get you to trust in the arm of the
flesh. When he accomplishes that, your peace is marred.
So when we refer to perfect peace, my friend, we are
talking about undisturbed peace.
aspect that I want you to note about perfect peace is,
its adaption to our needs. Our needs only afford the
occasion for the triumph of this peace. The prophet does
not identify the experience of perfect peace with the
absence of loss and sorrow. This is why the millennium
theory makes such a mark on the minds of men, because
they think the only way you can have perfect peace is to
have all loss, sorrow, and heartache removed.
Nevertheless, nowhere in the prophecy does the prophet
build our perfect peace on the absence of trouble, but
on the presence of God. The whole idea of "peace in the
valley someday" is built on a false conception. The
Bible speaks about us having perfect peace right in the
time of trouble.
Always Be Trouble
evangelists will tell you that when Jesus comes into
your heart, it well put an end to all of your troubles.
The truth is, however, when you find a real experience
of salvation, it will be the beginning of trouble. Jesus
told His disciples, "In the world ye shall have
tribulation..." (John 16:33b). We must clear our minds
of false thinking in order to find the perfect peace
spoken of in our Scripture text. Perfect peace does not
mean that we are drawn from the reach of tribulation,
but we possess this peace because we are drawn into
close union with God.
14:27, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I
give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be
afraid." Jesus calls this perfect peace "my peace," and
He bequeaths it to His disciples as the best legacy in
His power to bestow. John 13:1, tells us,
"Jesus...having loved his own which were in the world,
he loved them unto the end." Jesus wanted to leave His
disciples the most precious, expensive, and valuable
gift, so He gave them His peace, the very peace that He
enjoyed. Friends can leave us houses or lands or gold,
but only Christ can give us perfect peace.
I say again,
this peace does not consist in freedom from assult, but
this peace actually coexists with trouble and
tribulation. Everyone who is truly born again is in
Christ, but while we are in Christ, we are in the world.
Since we are in the world, we are going to have trouble
and tribulation, but Jesus said, "In the world ye shall
have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome
the world" (John 16:33b).
that people are stirring God's long-suffering when they
say, "There is nothing but problems and trouble. I will
be glad when I get out of this troubled world, then I
can have some peace." What kind of a witness is that?
Armageddon is a spiritual conflict between right and
wrong, and I repeat, a great part of it is fought right
in the mind. This is why we are instructed in Ephesians
6:11 to, "Put on the whole armour of God..." Why do we
need it? So we can war against the thoughts and
impressions of the devil. This is why we need the sword
(the Word of God)and the Spirit.
It is sad to
hear people who claim to be God's people supposedly
rejoicing in the truth about the church, while they are
waiting for a trouble-free age to enjoy this perfect
peace. Too many today are seeking for a place or a means
to be free from trouble. The devil drags those kinds of
thoughts through our minds. In fact, if you do not
suffer tribulation, you had better check to see if you
are saved, because the devil does not trouble his own.
for a day which is coming when we will be free from
trouble, but I am talking about a song, which we do not
have to wait until we get to Heaven to sing. This song
is a song which will be sung in the land of Judah (the
Church). The literal land of Judah will be gone when
Jesus comes again; there will not be any terra firma on
which to walk. This song is to be sung right in this day
living in a world, which is crying "peace and safety"
and cannot give either one. However, we can have perfect
peace, and keep it undisturbed, if we will obey God's
eternal Word and meet the conditions of it. Friend,
there is good news in the midst of all the tribulation
and sorrow: We can have perfect peace. There is only one
"if" to it: if we keep our minds stayed on God.
Necessary for Perfect Peace
Christ's peace? First of all, this is not the peace
which comes by repentance and forgiveness of sins. When
Jesus talked about "His peace," He was not referring to
a peace which came by reconciliation, because He was
never at variance with God. When Jesus said "my peace,"
He meant the mental peace which flows from living in
perfect harmony with the divine will of God. People who
do not believe and practice holiness will never know
anything about this perfect peace. They prove that they
do not have it because they expect to have it in a
millennium. [ Perhaps, a more accurate comment would be,
they don't perfectly understand the meaning or nature of
perfect peace(?). *S* ]
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on thee..." Such peace comes to us only through
the educational power of Christ. Please allow me to
clarify that statement: The more we obey, the more
explicit will be our submission to God. The greater our
submission is to God, the deeper and more perfect will
be our peace. Perfect peace is not just a certain degree
of peace, but an undisturbed peace.
consider the people who lived in the days of Noah and
Lot. We could name many instances where they were in
perfect peace as far as their feelings were concerned,
but in that very hour, God brought destruction upon
them. Paul said that the same conditions would exist in
our day and time. First Thessalonians 5:3 tells us, "For
when they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden
destruction cometh upon them..."
that repentance and reconciliation with God through
Jesus Christ is essential to the primary conditions for
perfect peace. Yet, my friend, perfect peace is not
always the possession of those who have met these
conditions. In other words, there are people who have
been reconciled, but they have not been kept in perfect
peace. Perfect peace only comes by living in perfect
harmony with the divine will of God.
of evil are working as never before, trying to get us to
compromise on this or that point and make us feel that
we can still be right with God. Nevertheless, Isaiah
tells us that in order to have perfect peace, we must
keep our minds stayed on God. Too many who enjoyed peace
by being justified before God are not able to retain
perfect peace, because they have not learned to 'stay
their minds' on God.
peace is disturbed, it is because your hopes and trusts
are not exclusively in God. Many other things are
failing us on every side, but God does not fail. People
need to get past the elementary stage of their Christian
experience and learn to put their trust in God and in
people are blown about by the winds of circumstances:
their joy, their peace, and their victory all rest on
the direction the wind is blowing. Some men's lives are
directed by gusts of passion or shaped by accidents;
their lives are jerking like a ship with no one at the
helm. If our lives are to be steadied, there not only
must be a strong hand at the tiller, but there must also
be an outward object, which serves as our aim. No man
can steady his life except by clinging to a holdfast
outside of himself. Far too many, look to the
fluctuation and the fleetingness of fellow creatures,
but only those who 'stay themselves upon God,' find
Let us read
Isaiah 26:4, "Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the
Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." This metaphor
needs no explanation. Here is an unchangeable defense in
which we can place our trust and have peace. Sometimes,
I have asked people how they were getting along, and
they said, "Pretty good, under the circumstances." What
are you doing under the circumstances? You are supposed
to be on top of them.
We sing, "I
am reigning, sweetly reigning [that is, when things are
not reigning over us], far above this world of strife;
In my blessed loving Savior, I am reigning in this
life." The circumstances may be adverse, but we can
possess a tranquility of soul, which is undisturbable,
IF we will keep our minds stayed on God. Someone may
ask, "When the devil comes around and says, "There is no
way out," what are we supposed to tell him? Shout one
We read in 2
Corinthians 4:4-10: "In whom the god of this world hath
blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image
of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not
ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your
servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the
light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our
hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory
of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
"But we have
this treasure in earthen [weak, frail] vessels, that the
excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We
are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not
forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing
about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the
life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
As long as your sufficiency is in God, all men may cast
you down, but you are not truly cast down or forsaken.
Why? There is One who will never cast you down, leave
you, or forsake you. God will never fail you.
Paul said in
Romans 5:1-6: "Therefore being justified by faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By
whom also we have access [He had been talking about
Abraham who was justified by faith, but you and I have
an access since Jesus died that Abraham did not have.]
by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice
in hope of the glory of God [ What does it mean to
rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? Friend, if we
are sold out to God and living for Him, it did not come
by accident. The devil cannot tempt us or lay a sprig in
our way without God giving him the authority to do so.
This is why Paul could say, "And we know that all things
work together for good to them that love God, to them
who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans
only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience;
and experience, hope [The reason so many are hopeless
today is because they are not willing to experience some
things. Only experience produces hope. There is no other
way to get it. We must allow God to take us through some
things. It will not hurt us if we are a sold-out child
of God; it will work hope.].
maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given
unto us [Hope maketh not ashamed because of the
sufficiency within the object of our hope. Many times,
people are hopeless and they are ashamed because they
are afraid to put their trust in God. But hope maketh
not ashamed because the love of God has already caused
Him to give the best He has.]. For when we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for the
When we were
bound by the fetters of sin, we just had to give up
unreservedly and set our minds on God so that we could
be saved. We must keep that same attitude in order to
have perfect peace every day. Peace, like every other
Christian grace and holy virtue, is beyond the reach of
the natural; it is supernatural. The child of God who
stays calm and true in the midst of trouble, excites the
wonder of this old world. According to our Scripture
text, such quietness and sweetness of soul is not the
result of temperament or training; it is the work of
must throw our excuses 'out the window,' because they
will not stand up to the Word of God. We have a strong
city; God has appointed salvation for walls and
bulwarks. God has not appointed us unto destruction, but
unto salvation. Whether or not we have peace may not
mean so much to us alone, but it will affect everything
about our witness and our influence.
the Lord Alway"
thought that the prophet said, "Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee," let us
read how we may keep our minds stayed on God.
Philippians 4:4, tells us, "Rejoice in the Lord alway:
and again I say, Rejoice." Paul had this experience that
I am talking about. He was not just in jail; he was down
in a dungeon, in a damp basement and all alone.
He began the
first chapter by telling the Philippian brethren, "The
things which happened unto me have fallen out rather
unto the furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12).
He believed that all things work together for good. He
knew that he was in jail for the glory of God. There
were some captains and guards in the palace, who had
never heard about salvation, so God used Paul to take
the Gospel to them.
Paul could say, "Rejoice in the Lord alway..." The word
alway means, while you are having your ups and while you
are having your downs. Someone may say, "Brother, you
cannot rejoice in the Lord when circumstances are going
bad." You can, if your rejoicing is in the Lord. If you
are just rejoicing in the blessings of the Lord, when
the blessings stop, your rejoicing will also stop. On
the other hand, if you are rejoicing in the Blesser, and
He is not blessing, but He is still there; you can still
rejoice in the Lord.
That is why
Habakkuk could say: "Although the fig tree shall not
blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour
of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no
meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and
there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice
in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation"
(Habakkuk 3:17-18). His mind was stayed on God, and the
fluctuation of circumstances could not change his
relationship with God one bit.
Let us read
Philippians 4:5, "Let your moderation [ your
yieldingness] be known unto all men. The Lord is at
hand." We have a Friend in whom we can trust. If we are
living for God, He is at hand. It is sad to say, but the
enemy so works on people's minds that they will crawl
right over Jesus and try to get help somewhere else.
tells us: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing
[everything] by prayer and supplication [There is a
reason why more people do not have unfurled, undisturbed
peace. It is still the little foxes that spoil the vine,
and it is still the little things that spoil the peace.]
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto
God. And the peace of God [This is not peace with God;
this is the peace of God, the kind of peace Jesus had.],
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus."
to Have His Rightful Position
You are not
going to forget and wander away from God, if, in your
every move, you consider Him. We are living in an age
when people have categorized their lives. They run there
business life, and they also pattern their own social
life. Then, they have a little corner of their life,
which they call the 'religious sphere,' and they try to
give God His rightful place there. Friend, we are only
going to keep our minds stayed on God, if we allow Him
to have His rightful position and let Him be God in
every aspect of our lives.
Let us read
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things."
If we are
going to keep our minds on God, we must bring God into
our daily life in the things that we need and ask for.
Secondly, if we are going to keep our minds stayed on
God, we must think on things, which are honest, true,
and upright, which have strength in them. You cannot get
truth out of the newspaper, because much(?) of it is not
true. You cannot get it out of some of the magazines
coming into your home, because much(?) of those are not
honest or of a good report.
Where are we
to find the things, which are honest and true and of a
good report? David said: "Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the unglodly...But his
delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth
he meditate day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2).
is fair and God is understanding. Certainly, God knows
that you have to put your mind to work at different
things. You must have you mind on your job or you might
get hurt. But when your mind is freed from the cares of
life, you cannot have perfect peace by lying in bed and
reading something that ya 'ought not.' *S*
songs were different when I was a boy, than they are
today. Those songs used to have some principle about
them. They taught people to be honest and that sin would
find them out. That is a lot different from much(?) of
today's songs. They are different because of the
inspiration(?), the spirit(?) that is behind them.
Surely we all know that our adversary would like to
entertain us and get our minds away from that which is
good. And we know he will make an 'inroad' right there,
if we 'give place' to him.
In the face
of all this, our Scripture text says, "Thou wilt keep
him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee." Ultimate security is in
the faithfulness of God. The peace in which a believer
is kept, is perfect peace. It is God's peace; God is the
object and the source of it.
God keeps us
in perfect peace by the deliverence He works for us from
time to time. Saint of God, when Paul talked about
thinking on things which are true and virtuous, it is
for a reason. God has given us memories for a reason. We
can bring to remembrance, if we have lived very long,
some places where God has moved in a definite manner in
would like to hide these blessed memories and cause us
to only think about the dark places and the terrible
reverses in our lives. Our memory is a divine treasure
of the house of divine faithfulness and mercy, out of
which our souls are fed and sustained in the seasons of
famine and danger which befall us. Friend, it is
biblical structure, which we must never forget. God gave
us a memory for a reason. When we are in the hard
places, God expects us to think upon His faithfulness.
met Goliath, he used his memory. He could remember the
day he slew the lion and the day he killed the bear. He
knew the same God who gave him strength to overcome the
lion and the bear would give him victory over Goliath.
He kept his mind stayed on God.
Paul tells us the same thing in 2 Timothy 4:16-17: "At
my first answer no man stood with me [You can stand
alone. I believe in unity, but real Bible unity comes
about because of men and women who take an individual
stand in their own hearts before God and stand alone,
together. That is real unity.], but all men forsook me:
I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened
me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and
that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered
out of the mouth of the lion." Paul used memory to help
himself. He was in jail again, writing to a young
minister, Timothy, his son in the Gospel.
He was doing
his best to encourage Timothy. He told him of when he
had to stand alone, and of how the Lord had delivered
him. He could write to Timothy and say: "The Lord stood
with me...and I was delivered out of the mouth of the
lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil
work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to
whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (verses 17-18).
Scripture text says, "Thou wilt keep him [or her] in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he
[or she] trusteth in thee." The fourth verse says,
"Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah